Or it could simply be that he’s being the better person and taking the high road. There is that old saying… if you can’t say anything nice about someone don’t say anything at all. He could simply be maintaining his morals. I mean, this is the guy who apologized for apologizing to the one politician he accidentally bumped.
too bad being the better person hasn’t extended to helping any of the victims of trump’s policies
ARABIAN SEA (Feb. 12, 2008) Capt. Vincent K. Dixon, left, and 1st Lt. Andrew C. Robbins of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron Reinforced [HMM (REIN)] 166 land their AH-1W Super Cobra on the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). U.S. forces maintain a naval and air presence in the region to promote stability and safeguard vital links to the global economy. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin (Released)
sudden thought: if the atlantic slave trade powered the industrial revolution in America and Europe and built those empires, how did Russia China and Japan grow into world powers. i forgot my high school history
Are you trying to get me to do your homework for you? I mean, it’s going to work, since I like this question, but, you know. Don’t cheat, kids.
All right, now that my conscience has been totally 100% ameliorated, let’s do this.
The social, political, and economic arrangements of a society can place some people in a privileged position relative to others, particularly with respect to important goods, like institutional representation, economic resources, and even less tangible goods like “respect” and “welfare”. Since societal arrangements are not always brought into reflective awareness, it is unsurprising when even well meaning and well-intentioned members of privileged groups are unaware of how they may benefit from social arrangements relative to members of other groups. Many times have we experienced “upper-caste” Tamils unable and unwilling to recognize the privilege they hold vis-à-vis “lower-caste” Tamils in Sri Lanka and beyond. Sometimes they may well be aware of some of the difficulties faced by oppressed caste members. Sometimes they may even work for the betterment of other communities in the island, but this hardly ever translates into wider acknowledgment of the privilege centred around their “upper-caste” Tamil identity.
The denial of these privileges is widespread. Often we find “upper-caste” people relativising the inequalities felt by deprived caste Tamils, deflecting the undercurrent of casteism that produces systemic and sociocultural inequalities which continue to haunt the island and its diasporas.
This list attempts to highlight some of the privileges provided to “upper-caste” Tamils in Sri Lanka and beyond just because they are, yes, Tamils of “upper-caste” origin. Noting these privileges are not meant to antagonize or alienate people of privileged caste origin but rather raise awareness and self-consciousness about how caste identities indeed do play a role in the way they perceive, interact, and ultimately, politicize minorities on the island as well as its diasporas. It is also meant to show the extensive ways that caste identities can track inequalities in opportunity and welfare within a society and displacement. With this compilation we hope to ignite meaningful conversations and introspections into what it means to be a Tamil of “upper-caste” origin and ultimately what it means to not be of “upper-caste” origin in Sri Lanka and beyond.
1) You don’t have to ever acknowledge your caste identity and its attendant privileges.
2) You can think that the invisibility of your caste identity speaks to the erasure of caste as a relevant social system of organisation and segregation.
3) You can think that not being aware of your caste stems from progressive education.
4) You think that not speaking about caste is an act against the caste system, and you do so without having to consider that silencing caste makes it more difficult to challenge the caste system and easier to recode, invisibilise and mainstream it.
5) You can talk about anti-casteism without ever having to name the social group that holds power and sway over every other caste group in the diasporas and homeland (here: Vellalar caste group).
6) You can think that to say that you are against caste already translates into social change.
7) You can claim that the caste system has become obliterate with time while simultaneously continuing to enjoy the fruits of century-old socially constructed inequalities and exclusion.
8) You are able to increasingly replace caste with class in your socio-economic analysis without acknowledging that the historic caste/class overlap, particularly in the homeland, continues through long-term structural effects to affect questions of access and opportunity even years, decades, and centuries later.
9) You can emphasise class over caste as a means to deflect from the importance of caste as a contemporary social marker.
10) You can deny the historic, contemporary, physical and social violence of casteism amongst island Tamils by pointing to the severity of the caste system in neighbouring India.
11) You can oversimplify by saying that “untouchability”, as understood in the Indian context, never existed in Sri Lanka, therefore caste injustices “can’t have been as bad as in India”(although “untouchability” still existed on the island).
12) You can reduce oppression, inequalities and injustices felt by the Tamil people to those committed by the Sri Lankan state.
13) You can be progressive enough to talk about intersectionality with regards to race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality while erasing the question of caste from your analysis.
14) You can become an authority on caste without ever having to acknowledge your own privileged caste background and its resulting limits and subjectivities.
15) You can question the “objectivity” of oppressed caste members’ activism, research and work on caste issues based on their own membership in stigmatized caste groups.
Education and Employment
16) You can think of your parent’s aspiration for your (future) job to be completely isolated from the century old caste traditions and aspirations they grew up with.
17) You often have better support mechanisms to access and complete higher education based on the historic proximity of privileged caste members to educational institutions.
18) You can face little or less pressure to perform well or outperform others in education and employement based on your caste identity and history.
19) You can deny that caste discrimination in the employment sector continues to exist amongst Tamils, particularly amongst diasporic communities.
20) You can normalize the casteist organisation of society according to occupational practices.
Migration & Diaspora
20) You can denounce the importance of anti-caste activism in diaspora because apparently “caste doesn’t exist anymore”
21) You can overlook that migration meant for many (upper) caste-Tamils the loss of secular status by losing their inherital socioeconomic privileges on arrival in diaspora and ritual purity by having crossed the Indian Ocean.
22) You can overlook that migration meant for many deprived caste Tamils the relative liberation from caste stratified societies and socioeconomic as well as sociocultural diktats.
23) You can claim that patterns of migration from Sri Lanka had no caste linkage.
24) You can claim that the remittance economy that links diasporas and the homeland today does not reflect caste patterns and allegiances.
25) You can deny that the remittance economy further amplifies social divisions and inequalities between different caste groups in the homeland.
25) You can claim that all refugees experienced flight and integration the same without acknowledging how questions of caste and class altered or limited some people’s choices, opportunities, and adaptabilities.
26) You can deny that caste assumptions and prejudices are recreated and projected in the Tamil vernacular onto new diasporic geographies.
27) You can think of the question of “what’s your ‘ur’(home)?” as an uncritical and sentimental reflection of curiosity/nostalgia without having to consider the socioeconomically profiling/castefying as well as social violence that is hidden behind questions of geographic belonging in Sri Lanka.
Individual Histories & Memories
28) You don’t have to hide your personal biographies or rewrite your own personal history in order to circumvent the possibility of experiencing discrimination.
29) You don’t have to constantly fear for your web of lies and social buffers to be discovered and revealed.
30) You can challenge the reinvention and rewriting of identities and social histories of deprived caste members in diaspora as you consider your history as socially incontestable and free of social stigma.
31) You can proudly attest to your history without having to care about the social consequences.
32) You can publicly remember and mourn your social position back home without ever having to acknowledge how your privileged caste background entitled and made you inherit your place in society.
33) You can remember your socioeconomic background without having to acknowledge how you benefited from caste inequalities, and how you were inherently embedded and complicit in the exploitation of “lower caste groups”.
Society & Culture
34) You don’t have to fear discrimination amongst larger groups of Tamils based on your caste background.
35) You don’t have to acknowledge that caste is as deeply embedded in Tamil language as it is embodied within and by Tamil culture as a whole.
36) You can deny that negative caste assumptions and associations are made in regards to skin complexion.
37) You can deny that aesthetics, particularly regarding women, in the Tamil community are based on a history of casteification of body and mind.
38) You can disregard the ways caste shapes aesthetic ideals by pointing to European colonialism.
39) You have normalized the social violence that lies underneath everyday relations between different caste groups, including in the diasporas.
40) You can hide casteist mentalities by coding caste-based languages to hide caste attributions and judgements made in regards to social behaviourism.
40) You are quick to challenge any caste group that assumes to hold equal power to your own caste group (here: Vellalar caste group).
41) You can deny that your social surrounding is, with most likelihood, already caste gentrified.
42) Your religious identity isn’t challenged by Hinduism’s socially discriminatory practices.
43) You don’t have to question the extent of Brahmanism within Tamil Hindu culture and beliefs.
44) You can deflect from personal responsibilities in regards to caste-based inequalities by pointing to Brahmins as the gatekeeper of caste structures and hierarchies.
45) You can be quick to point to the lower secular status of Brahmins in regards to socioeconomic parameters in Sri Lanka (unlike India), without having to acknowledge that your secular superiority equals to greater responsibilities in regards to caste inequalities and violence.
46) You’re able to be religious without feeling the need to interrogate or critique Hinduism’s role in creating caste as a way organizing societies.
47) You can assume that anyone who converted to Christianity or another religion must be of deprived caste status.
48) You can say that discrimination in religious institutions have ceased to exist with the 1968 Temple Entry Movement.
49) You can locate discriminations in religious institution to Sri Lanka while being ignorant about the existence and importance of casteism in temples abroad.
50) You can say that caste doesn’t matter in diaspora while the majority of intra-communal marriages continue to be along caste-based lines.
51) You can say you don’t believe or care for caste but have no remorse over your family arranging marriage proposals according to caste-based lines.
52) You can claim that matrimonial sites and outlets’ insistence on caste doesn’t reflect the reality of marriages to be engineered according to caste ideology.
53) You can think the absence of the usage of the word “jaati/saathi” indicates to the erosion of the importance of caste as an ideology.
54) You can arbitrarily judge or force someone from an inter-caste marriage to decide between caste identities
55) You can assume someone’s caste identity based on prejudicial viewpoints
56) You don’t have to deal with the consequences of being unaccepted amongst both privileged and oppressed castes.
57) You can challenge someone from an inter-caste marriage on their “authenticity” if they choose to identify with one identity over the other.
58) You can live a life without negotiating identities and histories based on caste fault lines.
Writing of History
59) You don’t have to question the writing of history of the people because your presence won’t be unsettled or threatened by the current and dominant upper-caste narrative.
60) You are more comfortable in remembering anti-Tamil violence that affected the centres of upper-caste, (upper) middle class, urban life than those of deprived caste, low class and rural background.
61) You can be sure to encounter narratives and other forms of expression that reflect a similar experience as yours/your family’s than one of caste-difference.
62) You can think the mainstream postcolonial history of Tamils in Sri Lanka vis-à-vis the Sinhalese’s national building project is reflective of the experience of all subgroups within the heterogenous Tamil community.
63) You can be certain that identity politics and politics of representation only matter in inter-ethnic relations, but not in intra-ethnic relations.
64) You can claim that we all suffered the same without acknowledging that deprived caste groups were disproportionally affected by war, violence, displacement and destitution.
65) You are quick to incorporate the injustices committed against Hill Tamils by the Sri Lankan state (i.e. 1949 Citizenship Act, Repatriation Act) into your narrative on oppression and genocide of Tamils of the island as a whole (yes, we concur IT IS a genocide), but fail to acknowledge the “upper-caste” “Ceylon Tamil’s” complicity in these legislations as well as forms of social ostracization and exclusion of Hill Tamils based on the social parameter of caste.
66) Some of you may acknowledge the preferential role and benefits enjoyed by the Tamil “upper-caste” society during British colonialism, but fail to acknowledge that not all Tamils were equally positioned during colonialism (and thereafter).
67) You can say that Tamil nationalism has successfully eradicated caste without ever attempting to enquire into the lived reality of deprived caste members today.
68) You can claim that the LTTE’s anti-caste politics were built upon a general social consensus instead of a socio-political and socio-economic diktat imposed upon society.
69) You can externalize the Hill Tamils on the national question (on the basis of caste) while failing to acknowledge their contribution to anti-Sri Lankan state resistance.
70) You can conveniently divorce the history of Tamil resistance from its origin in anti-caste resistance.
71) You can deny that caste politics continue to be part and parcel of electoral politics in the homeland.
72) You can blame deprived caste members for, at times, deviating from the popular Tamil vote without acknowledging the common disregard most Tamil political parties have for deprived castes and their concerns.
73) You can call the TNA the representatives of the Tamil people without ever having to acknowledge that the TNA represents the old boys club of highly educated “upper-caste”, (urban) men who have more often than not inherited their positions of power from an ancestry of privilege.
74) You can be suspicious of the formation of caste allegiances and parties based on caste identity as it challenges the status quo of power relations.
75) You can be sure to find representation of your caste group in almost every meaningful and powerful avenue within the community.
76) You can easily deny that diasporic Tamil political organisations are reflective of an “upper-caste” demographic majority in diaspora.
77) You can deny that the caste background of representatives’of Tamil political organisations has an impact on the political and social position these political institutions take.
78) You think school alumni groups and village groups in diaspora aren’t drawing back on caste identities.
79) You can conveniently deprioritise caste as a social issue that needs less attention than does the national question.
80) You can accuse anyone who raises the question of caste as being a Sri Lankan state or Indian state stooge, thereby making them social and political outcasts.
“The middle class is disappearing” has been a standard line during this election cycle. As it turns out, it’s not wrong.
Last year was the first recorded year that middle-income families no longer make up the majority in America, according to the Pew Research Center. What this actually means economically is a mixed bag, but “middle class” in the U.S. has historically stood for something less concrete: the American dream.
Between now and the election, All Things Considered will be looking at what it means to be middle class in America today.
“And one,” said a crone in a violet tokar. The auctioneer gave her a sour look but did not disallow the bid.
“One thousand,” bid the grotesque fat man.
“And one.” The crone again.
“And one.” The crone.
“Who will give me one hundred?” cried the auctioneer.
That drew a bid at last, though it was only fifty silvers. The bidder was a thin man in a leather apron.
“And one,” said the crone in the violet tokar.
The overseer squinted at the auction block. “Him?” The bidding for Jorah Mormont had reached two hundred silvers.
“And one,” said the crone in the violet tokar.
Our heroes are at the mercy of the Wise Masters of Yunkai: the driving villains of the Meereenese Knot, the seething defenders of privilege looming outside Dany’s walls, threatening to kill her and her dragons and clap her people back in chains…and it turns out they’re a bunch of vain petty useless self-aggrandizing idiots!
Most of the guests paid them no more mind than they did the other slaves…but one Yunkishman declared drunkenly that Yezzan should make the two dwarfs fuck, and another demanded to know how Tyrion had lost his nose. I shoved it up your wife’s cunt and she bit it off, he almost replied…but the storm had persuaded him that he did not want to die as yet, so instead he said, “It was cut off to punish me for insolence, lord.”
Then a lord in a blue tokar fringed with tiger’s eyes recalled that Tyrion had boasted of his skill at cyvasse on the auction block. “Let us put him to the test,” he said. A table and set of pieces was duly produced. A scant few moments later, the red-faced lord shoved the table over in fury, scattering the pieces across the carpets to the sound of Yunkish laughter.
The Yunkish suck. At everything. All the time. It’s great. It so beautifully undercuts their entire festering ideology, because that’s based on their ostensible supremacy, but I–just–
“Have the Yunkishmen chosen a new commander?”
“The council of masters has been unable to agree. Yezzan zo Qaggaz had the most support, but now he’s died as well. The Wise Masters are rotating the supreme command amongst themselves. Today our leader is the one your friends in the ranks dubbed the Drunken Conqueror. On the morrow, it will be Lord Wobblecheeks.”
“The Rabbit,” said Meris. “Wobblecheeks was yesterday.”
“I stand corrected, my sweetling. Our Yunkish friends were kind enough to provide us with a chart. I must strive to be more assiduous about consulting it.”
Other than every single thing Balon Greyjoy does, that may be the worst idea I have heard in the series so far. And the way the sellswords describe it made me laugh until my jaw hurt (the nicknames oh my god). Hell, the Yunkish lords barely even pulled off the march to Meereen, which, y’know, Bataan Death March that ain’t. And then they get there, and some get trampled at the Pit, and a lot more die horribly of disease, and the rest are going to have their blood spilled across the opening pages of TWOW by Barristan, Victarion, the Unsullied, the Windblown, the Second Sons…basically everybody is going to kill them all at once, and I cannot wait. (Ironborn reavers fighting Yunkish slavers! Whoever dies, hooray for humanity, and feed the corpses to the dragons! God, I love the Battle of Fire. It’s the gloriously cynical mushroom-cloud climax to Tyrion’s ADWD storyline: everyone in Essos killing each other while he watches and snarks.)
[This interview is no longer available– I happened to find it on the Wayback Machine, so I’m “archiving” it here. :D]
BUY IT, USE IT, BREAK IT, FIX IT BY RANDALL ROBERTS LA Weekly Thursday, October 25, 2007
On the eve of its final American performance of 2007, Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter discusses the duo’s banner year, the future of the music industry and the current state of electronic music.
This Saturday night at the Vegoose Festival in Las Vegas, Daft Punk will conclude its revelatory summer American tour. Praised by both critics and fans as one of the best shows of the year – and by many as the greatest show in the history of electronic dance music – the veteran French house duo’s performances saw them perched atop a magical pyramid as a feast of effects and epiphanies swarmed from floor to rafter. L.A. Weekly recently spoke by phone with Thomas Bangalter, who, with partner Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, comprise Daft Punk.
L.A. Weekly: I’m trying to get a sense of your mindset when you converged on Los Angeles to begin rehearsals for your summer American tour. What were your goals, and what were your expectations? Thomas Bangalter: We’ve really been on a world tour since that first show at Coachella in April, 2006. We played all summer in Europe last year, and then we played South America and Asia, and also in the fall of last year, too. And we went back to more rehearsals and then played in America, and now we end up in Vegas and then in Mexico and Australia. But it’s true that the headquarters of this tour, are, in a sense, Los Angeles, where we have our creative offices right now. So the tour has been linked to L.A. since before we played in L.A. in July. The rehearsals took place between February and April of last year, 2006, and then there were more rehearsals and more changes in L.A. between April and May of this year.
Before Donald Trump takes the oath of office in January, there are a lot of questions about how he will decide key policy issues.
We’ve identified the top 10 issues voters care about most according to a 2016 survey from the Pew Research Center and charted what Trump has said about each of them. The issues are, in order: the economy, terrorism, foreign policy, health care, gun policy, immigration, Social Security, education, Supreme Court appointments and the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities.
From black comedy to romantic comedy; the relationship between Tyrion Lannister and Brown Ben Plumm takes the unmistakable form of a seduction. First, one calls out to the other:
“Two thousand,” called a new voice, back of the benches.
They size each other up across the crowd:
And what would a sellsword want with a dwarf? Tyrion pushed himself back to his feet to get a better look. The new bidder was an older man, white-haired yet tall and fit, with leathery brown skin and a close-cropped salt-and-pepper beard. Half-hidden under a faded purple cloak were a longsword and a brace of daggers.
“Twenty-five hundred.” A female voice this time; a girl, short, with a thick waist and heavy bosom, clad in ornate armor. Her sculpted black steel breastplate was inlaid in gold and showed a harpy rising with chains dangling from her claws. A pair of slave soldiers lifted her to shoulder height on a shield.
“Three thousand.” The brown-skinned man pushed through the crowd, his fellow sellswords shoving buyers aside to clear a path. Yes. Come closer. Tyrion knew how to deal with sellswords. He did not think for a moment that this man wanted him to frolic at feasts. He knows me. He means to take me back to Westeros and sell me to my sister. The dwarf rubbed his mouth to hide his smile. Cersei and the Seven Kingdoms were half a world away. Much and more could happen before he got there.
But it’s a missed connection, they go their separate ways; the memory lingers, however, and then they see each other at a party. The seducer skillfully arranges for a one-on-one:
Brown Ben Plumm lifted the fallen table, smiling. “Try me next, dwarf. When I was younger, the Second Sons took contract with Volantis. I learned the game there.”
“I am only a slave. My noble master decides when and who I play.” Tyrion turned to Yezzan. “Master?”
The yellow lord seemed amused by the notion. “What stakes do you propose, Captain?”
“If I win, give this slave to me,” said Plumm.
“No,” Yezzan zo Qaggaz said. “But if you can defeat my dwarf, you may have the price I paid for him, in gold.”
“Done,” the sellsword said. The scattered pieces were picked up off the carpet, and they sat down to play.
They read each other again, more closely now, laying the groundwork for payoff later in the relationship.
As they set up for their third contest, the dwarf studied his opponent. Brown-skinned, his cheeks and jaw covered by a closecropped bristly beard of grey and white, his face creased by a thousand wrinkles and a few old scars, Plumm had an amiable look to him, especially when he smiled. The faithful retainer, Tyrion decided. Every man’s favorite nuncle, full of chuckles and old sayings and roughspun wisdom. It was all sham. Those smiles never touched Plumm’s eyes, where greed hid behind a veil of caution. Hungry, but wary, this one.
The sellsword was nearly as bad a player as the Yunkish lord had been, but his play was stolid and tenacious rather than bold. His opening arrays were different every time, yet all the same—conservative, defensive, passive. He does not play to win, Tyrion realized. He plays so as not to lose. It worked in their second game, when the little man overreached himself with an unsound assault. It did not work in the third game, nor the fourth, nor the fifth, which proved to be their last.
Near the end of that final contest, with his fortress in ruins, his dragon dead, elephants before him and heavy horse circling round his rear, Plumm looked up smiling and said, “Yollo wins again. Death in four.”
“Three.” Tyrion tapped his dragon. “I was lucky. Perhaps you should give my head a good rub before our next game, Captain. Some of that luck might rub off on your fingers.” You will still lose, but you might give me a better game.
Hi there! I've really been loving this blog, all the information is so useful! What strikes me most is there's a lot of things I wouldn't have thought about if not for reading it here. My question for you is this: do you have any suggestions for where to find information about economic systems, forms of currency, and trading methods from a variety of cultures? I'm having some trouble working out the logistics of the various economies in my story, especially since one is based on bartering.
I’m going to be honest with you, brutally honest. What you ask, is not impossible to answer except for the last part,
from a variety of cultures
, which instantly turns your ask into a problem. Not a big one, everything has a solution, and I’ll do my best to help you finding yours.
In the years of social evolutionism there was the idea that pre-industrialized societies had no economy.
K. Bücher in 1893 proposed three stages for Western Economy
Closed Domestic Economy social division of work is among family members and blood relations.
Urban Economy this is a neighbourhood level. The goods go from the producer directly to the consumer. Work division is divided in urban profesions.
National Economy products are goods and merchandise. There are industries and contracts.
Morgan, another social evolutionist, stated that the first two stages of social evolution (savagery and barbarism) had no economy. From this point of view saying that economy is directly connected to money, prices and commercial exchange of good is saying that without a State you can’t talk about politics.
From this theory some myths about tribes flourished.
The only have subsistence economy, they only cover their needs and there’s no exchange
A closed domestic economy should evolve, by necessity, to an urban economy, and this one to a national economy. One is an early stage of the next one.
They lack prevision, there’s only for the now and nothing for tomorrow
Now we know things aren’t that easy, they were never that easy in the first place, schoolars thought that every society that lack a form of social organization as a State or that their economy wasn’t based on money and exchange of goods and services lack economy itself. Turns out, in these societies economy is linked to more than what we perceive as economy, there are social ranks, social events, rites, traditions, people involved.
About economical models, Marx postulated four ways of land property.
Capitalist modern bourgeois
In the first three the individual has a direct existence with the community, with the introduction of capitalism the individual was separated from their properties.
There are two events, you might want to do some research on them. Potlatch and
Kula. There are plenty of studies about both of them so it shouldn’t be hard
to find information. They might redirect you to more events.
About bartering. Is more than an economical aspect of a society, there are rites and traditions they follow. And, in some places, the exchange is about making and strengthening boundaries by marriage, sending your child to another family so they can learn what they won’t in your family. Is also about power, religion, myths, among others. Total social facts in the words of Marcel Mauss.
A few questions for you to answer
Where is the bartering happening? do people have a place where they can gather and exchange their items or it happens anywhere?
When is the bartering happening? is there a special occasion or it can be anytime?
Who is the people involved? Anyone can be in the bartering or only some people?
What is being bartened, food, clothes, accesories, tools, people?
Are there any rites related to the bartering? how much has it changed through time?
Poverty is not caused by the lack of material resources. It is the immediate result of our exploitation and waste. There is a close link between the economy of the poor and the warming of our planet. Conservation and compassion are intimately connected. The web of life is a sacred gift of God – ever so precious, yet ever so delicate. Each of us dwells within the wider ecosystem; each of us is a part of a larger, global environment. We must serve our neighbor and preserve our world with both humility and generosity, in a perspective of frugality and solidarity.
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I